Program accreditation
Planning Accreditation Board

Program goal

The Certificate in Urban Revitalization provides specialized training in the techniques and processes of city and neighborhood revitalization. Topics include adaptive reuse of buildings, historic preservation, real estate market analysis and the role of private-public partnerships in financing development projects. The certificate is useful for midcareer professionals who wish to learn new skills to expand their career options. It also is useful for recent college graduates who desire advanced training beyond the baccalaureate level and accelerated entry into the job market.

At any time, students in the certificate program may apply for admission into the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program and, if accepted, may transfer the certificate credits toward partial fulfillment of the master’s degree requirements.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students should display evidence of having developed a multidisciplinary understanding of urban life.
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of, and a willingness to act in accordance with, the ethics and values of the professional.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
CertificateFallApr 1 (Mar 1 for financial aid)
SpringOct 1

Special requirements

  • These deadlines are designed to allow sufficient time for application review and admission processing. Applications may be submitted after the deadline; however, there is no guarantee of sufficient time for processing. Any application submitted too late for current semester processing will be considered for the following semester.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the prerequisites and general criteria of eligibility for admission to the urban revitalization certificate program include:

  1. Completion of an official application form
  2. Three letters of reference
  3. Letter of intent describing interest in applying for the Certificate in Urban Revitalization
  4. An official transcript showing successful completion of a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average of 2.7 (out of 4.0) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study
  5. Demonstration of professional experience in planning or work related to the certificate program (The experience requirement may be waived for candidates who demonstrate professional promise.)

All courses in the graduate Certificate in Urban Revitalization may be applied to meet the requirement of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree. However, successful completion of the certificate does not guarantee admission into the M.U.R.P. degree program.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, the Certificate in Urban Revitalization program requires 18 graduate credit hours of course work, which blends instruction in planning, urban design, economics and finance.

Curriculum requirements

Select six of the following:18
Cases in Real Estate 1
Historic Preservation in Planning
Introduction to Planning
Principles of Urban Design
Housing Policy
Adaptive Reuse of Buildings
Urban Economic Development Policy
Urban Commercial Revitalization
Topics in Urban and Regional Planning (architectural analysis and historical preservation)
Topics in Urban and Regional Planning (historical preservation application)
Other elective, if approved by the program chair or certificate program coordinator
Total Hours18

Either URSP 647 or FIRE 629, but not both, may be applied toward the degree requirements.

For students who wish to focus primarily on historic preservation 12 of the program’s 18 hours should include:

URSP 517Historic Preservation in Planning3
URSP 647Adaptive Reuse of Buildings3
URSP 691Topics in Urban and Regional Planning (architectural analysis and historical preservation)3
URSP 691Topics in Urban and Regional Planning (historical preservation application)3
Total Hours12

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this certificate is 18.

Damian Pitt, Ph.D.
Associate professor, program chair and graduate program director
(804) 828-7397

Additional contacts
James Smither
Assistant professor and assistant program chair
(804) 827-0570

Graduate Student Services and Advising
(804) 828-6837

Program website: